LONDON: Eddie Howe – the second choice – has been confirmed as Newcastle’s head coach after signing a contract until summer 2024 at St James’ Park.

The 43-year-old was in the directors’ box in Brighton on Saturday to see his new team fight back to claim a 1-1 Premier League draw. The former Bournemouth boss succeeds Steve Bruce, who parted company with the club on October 20.

Howe said: “It is a great honour to become head coach of a club with the stature and history of Newcastle United. It is a very proud day for me and my family.

Eddie Howe: two and a half year deal

“This is a wonderful opportunity, but there is also a lot of work ahead of us and I am eager to get on to the training ground to start working with the players.

“I would like to thank the club’s owners for this opportunity and thank the club’s supporters for the incredible welcome they have already given me. I am very excited to begin our journey together.”

Howe has been out of the game since ending his second spell in charge at Bournemouth in August 2020 after almost eight years with the club.

He inherits a side sitting in 19th place in the table and ahead of managerless Norwich only on goal difference after failing to win any of their first 11 games of the campaign.

The former Burnley boss, who was a reportedly serious candidate for the England job before Gareth Southgate’s appointment, has been appointed after an offer from the Saudi-controlled consortium was rejected by Villarreal coach Unai Emery.

Newcastle director Amanda Staveley said: “We have been incredibly impressed by Eddie through what has been a rigorous recruitment process.

“As well as his obvious achievements with AFC Bournemouth, where he had a transformational impact, he is a passionate and dynamic coach who has clear ideas about taking this team and club forward.

“He is a great fit for what we are trying to build here. We are delighted to welcome Eddie and his staff to St James’ Park and very much look forward to working together towards our collective ambitions.”

A club statement said an announcement on first-team coaching appointments will “follow in due course”.

Howe will have the international break to work with his those players not on duty with their countries before promoted Brentford head for Tyneside for his first fixture on November 20.

There will be a series of familiar faces in the dressing room – striker Callum Wilson and midfielders Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser all worked under him during his time with the Cherries.